tv 1965 Film The Wise Years Wasted CSPAN December 7, 2014 4:00pm-4:27pm EST
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work, and desperate. multiply him by the millions and millions of other aging workers that will be in our midst by 1970 and you have a problem of national magnitude. the grey ghosts of the great society. >> i got nothing come in until social security. that's 15 years from now. >> all that they want is 22-year-old college graduates. >> what am i going to tell the kids? what will they think of their old man? >> can you imagine anybody at my age going back to school? >> the problem has been phrase trend editor at "newsweek." as he puts it, "the brutal fact is that there is discrimination of sorts going on in american industry today. when men are considered to be over the hill when they are in
their prime, healthy, willing, and able. what good is it for science to have increased the lifespan but it simply means that the human junk pile starts at an earlier age? under these unhappy conditions you can go from bachelors degree to management and over -- just over 20 years. there are reasons for this rather grim phenomenon known as the aging worker problem. incredibly rapid technological changes. a concurrent fast transition to automation that replaces man with machine. the swift progress of knowledge in general to a sophisticated plateau that makes yesterday's education seem useless. needed universal concern for the welfare and nurturing of our young evil and in a scene category, the well-known population explosion. fact, one could postulate
that we are in the middle of two hot -- to population explosions. the ages of between 50 and 60, the men and women cast aside who find themselves in a desperate struggle for survival in a world that they never made, either. we had better start worrying about them. if that problem is left unsolved can have a profound and depressing effect on the entire national economy. in one way or another it will andh the pocketbooks fortunes of every american and could easily hold back the golden dream of a truly great society. i put it question to the secretary of labor. >> department of labor has been concerned for a long time about the problem of the older worker. this is for two reasons.
the men and women who will be over 45 in the workforce, the other thing is that we have realized increasingly that there is a set of myths that have developed that have resulted in what is almost a discrimination against the older worker. discrimination with any ugliness in it at all, but it is the feeling on the part of some employers that there are disadvantages to older workers, which we have found do not work out to be true in fact. it is in an attempt to eliminate these myths, to get rid of the misunderstanding that we have initiated a countrywide program to see to it that there is further understanding of the situation. especially we have divided the basis for this problem from the older worker, where we have been conducting experiments of one kind or another, providing for special counseling and special
reach rating programs for the older worker. first we have found a complete willingness on the part of the worker over 45 to participate in retraining projects. second, and ability to make good use of retraining. third and very importantly, a willingness of the older worker to move where necessary to a job in a different place, hard as that may be. in connection with his experimental programs, one of the most worthwhile has been the program that we have worked out with the national council on aging. >> the program has been underway for some time. are you satisfied with the results so far? >> satisfy that we have made a good beginning. we know a great deal more than we did before. we know that among other things one of the most important elements as far as the providing of opportunities for older workers is concerned is that the attitude in the community be one
of complete acceptance of the potential of the community and the individual worker. yes, now we know more than we did before. projectthat through the of the national council of the aging can be made use of in other cities around the country. we have made a good start. i wish that every american to know what has already been done in this area and that every american could realize everything that needs to be done still. >> thank you, mr. secretary. let's take a look at the seven cities the secretary mentioned. baltimore, cleveland, boston, asheville, milwaukee, lansing, and south bend. in each area it was necessary to a day in the cooperation of local sponsoring organizations,
usually one that was already aware of the problem. let's start in baltimore. the sponsoring group is the health and welfare council is to williams ringer is the director. >> this project covers the baltimore metropolitan area. in a few months it has developed over 600 jobs that are considered appropriate for older workers who lack definite skills or formal educations. we have found that employers in the baltimore area are very receptive to hiring older workers through this project. >> this is mrs. james. unemployed for -- unemployed because of her age for over one year. through the baltimore project she was retrained through the maryland general hospital. now she is filling a needed role, needed by the hospital, useful once more to herself.
applied fore that i a job everybody told me i was too old. so, i got in touch with the old workers project. they sent me on a job. two days per week, the job held up fine. i am doing fine on my own and getting along fine. work is beingd conducted under the auspices of the cleveland welfare federation. >> among other things there 50 plus program is concerned with pulling together and using all the services and resources of the community to help these jobless older men find work before they become so depressed that they lose their motivation for work. when you have worked for 35 years, being without a job every month can make you feel useless, helpless. just good for nothing. therefore we are trying to reach
these older unemployed men early, provide them with the services that they need then so that they do not settle into the routine of unemployment and hopelessness. >> one touching example of what you mentioned comes from the case files of cleveland's vocational guidance rehabilitation services. we asked the gentleman in question and his sister to tell about it in his own words. >> the plant i had work at home wife moved out of town. here i was, 55, never been out of work today and my life and i tell you, my age was really a problem. i look for almost a year. >> he got awful depressed. we talked to nobody. he just wanted to sit, sleep, or think. we finally got him to go see the counselor. >> the counselor talk to this man, repaired his morale, got
him the glasses that he needed, and helped him find a job in which he could use his new skills. >> good luck. >> in the third city, milwaukee, the approach is somewhat different. consider the case of this 59-year-old man. he has only a fourth-grade education and lives alone. rated in the lowest 1/10 of 1% intellectually, but this man shapes up as a calm, stable, and responsible person. he is agreeable, adaptable, and quite proud, willing to work hard at anything within his limited capability. still, where do you play someone with his age and background? it is to find the answers to such problems that the milwaukee project places heavy answers on a valuation before placement. in boston we started at the other end of the scale. here at the john f. kennedy family service center,
interviewers spoke to mr. a, b, and c. mr. a is 61, the former vice president of a substantial mail order catalog business, earning around $22,000 per year. forced out of business by competition, he has not been able to find work except as a retail salesman at around $47 per week. his only handicap is his age. --s, by any method of merit any measure, is a conspicuous waste. mr. b is a college man, one-time sales manager earned around $10,000 per year. since 1964 he has been unemployed and unable to find a job of any can -- any kind. his only fault is that he is 65 years old. mr. c has a bachelors of philosophy and law degree.
427 years he was an outstanding engineer, civics worker, and affected speech maker. the company that he works for transfer their headquarters to the west coast. for two years now mr. c has been out of work. why? he is 62 years young. are those cases unique? .ere dr. paul >> at first we thought that these cases were unusual, but as time went on we found that they were not uncommon. many well all applied, able, intelligent, well-educated people with rich work experience had been walking the streets for months, seeking a job. many of these people are to well-qualified and employers are reluctant to insert them into their organizations over people who have been with them for a number of years. approach to this
problem has not worked out. we are sending out 50 letters in cooperation with the department of employment security to presidents of concerns in this area and we aware -- we await the results for a hopefully. >> if you have ever been in or around asheville, north carolina, you know it is a place a startling contrasts. a prosperous city with a large proportion of wealth extra tired feet surrounded by a stunningly beautiful countryside and populated by hill folk with a long history of economic depression and unemployment. those same proud and wonderful filled people have, for generations, created all kinds of superbly crafted articles that are unique, unusual, and highly prized by collectors. here people are concerned with
integrating these factors into a program that will meet the serious problem of unemployed older workers. new techniques and approaches are being developed, looking not only to the motivation and placement of older workers and year-round jobs, but also striving to find jobs in which advancing age is an asset rather than a liability. jobs that capitalize on the traditional craftsmanship of the hill people in these parts, promoting the marketing of their creations. are some of the aspects of the problem and some of the probing that has been done. forpossibility of training hospital work in baltimore, psychological testing in the walkie. men with higher skills in boston. rural aspects in asheville. these looking for ways in which the community can meet this growing problem. but of all the areas of activity
concerned with the project, none has been more dramatic or illuminating, or significant, than the one in south bend, indiana. >> indeed, the amazing bootstrap operation that took place here has received so much national publicity already that virtually everyone is familiar with it. to recapitulate, this is what happened. in 1963 studebaker shutdown. included in the unemployed were some 3000 people over 50 years of age to 2000 dependents under 19 years old. many of them had lost their pension rights as the result of the sudden shutdown. the catastrophic situation or the first demonstration project.
project able, ability based on long experience. a remarkable experience an this could bring about miracles. this program to write them women for older workers and was running full speed. everyone was urged and pressured to get into the act and did, a total community involvement. almost immediately the workers were being placed in new jobs. others were being counseled by advisers and nonprofessionals. others were being given tests calculated to launch them into new skills. most important of all, perhaps, beingindustries were conditioned to recognize the merits of hiring older workers. a new climate of understanding and appreciation was being
created. it was becoming fashionable to understand older workers as assets worthy of hiring. a matter ofare record. as i make this report to you, south then has become an area of labor shortage. thew weeks ago 589 out of 400 70,000 unemployed still needed jobs and were available for work. today the number is down and hopefully in the near future all of those who need worthwhile jobs. it was a history making project in which the established guidelines or other cities that may be faced with a similar problem. >> i began seeking employment but was refused in many places because of my age. ableg known that project
was beginning its operations, i stopped in and was granted an interview and a chance to show andualifications experience. as a result i was able to secure a job. few ofnt around to see a the local manufacturing outfits. i found out they were reluctant to hire a man over 50. so, i had heard about project able and i registered with them. about four days later, they called me and said they had a job with the baker manufacturing company. >> after taking the test they i should shift over to architectural drafting and and it takes an
employee or an employee to make a job. one of those employers was mr. wolf, the president of the guard x company. askede time ago we were to hire some people 50 years and older. we have reservations that people go to work with. as a matter of fact, we have been so pleased with them than they have hired over 50. i will say this, we only hire on the merits and nothing else. also, there is quite a bit less turnover. the truth is when they still
want to have the ability or capability, they do so. drove many things, testing -- testing me and new techniques dealing with massive worker unemployment, but more than anything else it shows the way that any other city could go to marshal its resources for the that is such a big problem. no one knows better than the executive director of the national council on the aging, mrs. geneva matheson. older workers can learn new skills. they can get new and often challenging deployment. you have seen the proof that it is not easy. the older worker himself must have or be held developed a fate in his own future.
are going to have to see and learn to work together. none of this is easy. but the alternative is unthinkable. no american community can afford to have able-bodied men and women in their 50 positive early willing to work, living out their lives in idleness. >> there are obviously no easy solutions to the problem. they're seldom are. but it is a problem that we have a matter of economics and plain social conscience. as president johnson has said, speaking of the older workers, what we do for them today will enrich our own lives tomorrow and i will enrich the lives of our children in the decade to
come. i know of nothing more necessary and." this is one of the hard-core problems our nation faces as he moved towards the 20th century problems of middle with older, productive years ahead of him, with thatnt victim scene technology and a develop -- demand for new skills not being paid for necessarily human but this is not their problem, this is our problem. find out what is needed, educate the community, restore hope to the discouraged and provide support.
action, and that right to use those talents, skills and the main thing that it's away witht here is the duty we have to make it right, meaningful reality. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> next, the smithsonian national museum of the american onian hosted a symposium treaties between the u.s. and american indian nations. this panel discussion was entitled "great nations keep their word